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One of my colleagues recently assessed the critically-ill patient.

A native english speaker was being interviewed by a random reporter. The thing is, do I have to add 'has' in this sentence?(the above sentence was the answer of the native speaker. Anyway, it would go like this:

One of my colleagues has recently assessed the critically-ill patient.

What winds me up is, there's 'recently' in the answer. Further, as for following grammar rules, mostly the 'recently' goes with 'have' coz you don't know when that had happened, right? BUT, the native speaker in this example had said that, WITH NO HAVE. Why is that? Idiomatic? Pls. Help.

(Edited my 'have' to 'has')

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    The recently/lately rule is simply not known to most English speakers. Perhaps someone who edits for the NY Times or The New Yorker. Anyway, it would be singular: One of my colleagues has recently assessed. etc. Nowadays, one hears all over the place would/would: If I would go, I would see him. Grrrrh. :)
    – Lambie
    Feb 1, 2018 at 19:08

2 Answers 2

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No, you do not have to use the present perfect; the simple past is fine.

If you did use the present perfect, it should be "one of my colleagues has recently assessed..." Remember that "one of my colleagues" is singular, so we have to conjugate to have correctly:
I have
You have
He/She/It/My colleague/One of them has

The present perfect is technically a present tense, so I can understand why it might sound confusing to use it with the word recently - if something happened recently, it must have been in the past! - but in practice English speakers do it all the time. The word recently emphasizes how close the event was to the present, but it doesn't actually affect whether we use the simple past or the present perfect.

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  • I got the same correct answer, whenever I ask this kind of question but in different word(verb tenses: present perfect vs. past simple when there is frequency of adverb included). Noted, thx very much.
    – John Arvin
    Feb 1, 2018 at 19:25
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    As I said, most English speakers are not familiar with the rule. In standard grammar, recently and lately do call for the present perfect.
    – Lambie
    Feb 1, 2018 at 20:35
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As so often, two grammatically correct sentences may turn out to be right or wrong depending on the context. So, "One of my colleagues recently assessed the patient" is a good answer to the journalist's presumed question: 'Was the patient assessed? Whereas "One of my colleagues has recently assessed the patient" sounds like the beginning of a wider statement along the lines " and found she was perfectly sane". So, it all depends on what it is you want to say.

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  • I clearly see you point here, in terms of grammatical and connotative meaning. This is an answer from your homecountry. I guess I really have to channel correctly between using simple past and present in this regard then. Is your answer here serves as in general english or idiomatic?
    – John Arvin
    Feb 1, 2018 at 20:46
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    @JohnArvin There is zero idiomatic sense here.
    – user68912
    Feb 1, 2018 at 20:59

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